My wife and I have been longtime residents of the South Surrey area and remember with fondness our first experience of walking the White Rock beach and pier on Christmas day 1980, wearing light sweaters and coats, carrying our newborn girl in a snuggly and enjoying the magic of the White Rock beachfront having just moved from Winnipeg.
It is 36 years since our first walk along the beach, and we have seen incredible changes along the White Rock waterfront. Much of it positive, as the beach strip has evolved as its merchants continue to come and go in the continual process of success and failure.
One huge change has been the discovery by thousands and thousands of visitors each summer that White Rock beach is a wonderful place to come and spend time with families enjoying the rustic amenities of the waterfront. As a recent official White Rock resident taxpayer, I welcome them and hope their visits contribute to the success of the businesses and that the taxes collected help White Rock maintain its services and infrastructure for the future.
Which brings me to my main point. As a person who walks the beach at least five times a week for the last year or so, I am dismayed and appalled that the City of White Rock appears to have done nothing to preserve the crown-jewel amenity that the city has to preserve, which is its beachfront boardwalk.
Any observant citizen knows that the beachfront has been experiencing serious erosion over the past several winters. As recently as this morning, one can see evidence of white irrigation pipes sticking out the East Beach bank, which have been broken and exposed since last winter’s serious erosion. Grass areas all along East Beach are disappearing by several metres with each major high-tide storm event. Bent up metal barricades are lying haphazardly along the shoreline for no good reason.
It is very clear that White Rock or the railway has not done any mitigating maintenance work during this past year, and it is reasonable to expect that the next series of winter storms will successfully erode the bank and eventually the boardwalk and picnic tables.
This is absolutely unacceptable to me, a White Rock taxpayer.
Instead of squandering money on the White Rock pier shoreline renovation, why is White Rock city not putting all available resources into preserving our beautiful White Rock beach and boardwalk so that people can continue to use and enjoy it, for the benefit of the city and its beachfront merchants?
This is a crisis that will only get worse if nothing is done soon.
Mark Kroeker, White Rock